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Showing posts from August, 2014

[Book Review] Of Bone and Thunder

Of Bone and Thunder / Chris Evans

Of Bone and Thunder channels Full Metal Jacket into a gritty sword and sorcery novel.  The Vietnam War inspiration is unmistakable in the setting, as is the futility and madness, and it shows that odd pacing of Kubrick's where things are both fast and incredibly slow at the same time.

At first I couldn't really get into the story.  Different characters and threads of plot were introduced, but I was left wondering why I should care about them or how they fit together.  Nothing clicked and the insistence on calling dragons "rags" grated.  Then, suddenly, the stories clicked.  Pieces fit together into a larger picture.  Regardless of if I liked the characters, I wanted to see how their stories played out.

There is nothing romantic about this war, regardless of what propaganda is being fed to the citizens at home.  The jungle is unforgiving, the weaponry indiscriminately fatal.  The enemy is made as faceless as possible, since attacks tak…

Remembering a life

July 12 was the worst day of my life.

The morning of July 11th my mom went in for an exploratory abdominal surgery, and never woke up. While under aesthetic, unknown to anyone, an aneurysm burst. It was realized that something was wrong, and she was taken in for a CAT scan, where she stopped breathing while in the machine. They got her hooked to a ventilator and discovered that there was bleeding around her brain. The hospital than began the search for an open bed in a hospital with a neurosurgeon, and once one was located, she was airlifted down. During transit he condition deteriorated drastically. Her eyes were 'blown out,' a new CAT scan showed multiple aneurysms hemorrhaging throughout the brain, and they determined that the blood pressure in her brain pan was higher than the blood pressure in her body.  She had passed the point of no return. We sat with her through the night. In the early hours of July 12th, she slipped into brain death and was taken off life sup…

[Book Review] The Killer App

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The Killer App / John Writher (Powell's Books)
The Killer App is set in a future generation where Britain is crippled by an ageing population, and the associated spiraling costs of pension, health and social care. The new Prime Minister, Robert Hand, pledged to strip-search the country’s finances, as well as funding research and innovation, to remedy the situation. He teams up with Bill Haugan, a ruthless American businessman with a penchant for pushing the boundaries, and Janet Icks, a hard-working genetic scientist wedded to her laboratory. On top of the snow-covered pistes around Davos, Switzerland, the unlikely trio hatch a killer experiment designed to revolutionize society. They all have their own personal interests in the proposal – Hand wants the public vote for solving the demographic imbalance, Icks is keen to test her research to transfer DNA after death, while Haugan has designs on expanding his empire – yet the worlds of politics, big business and science become uncomf…

[Book Review] As You Wish

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As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride / Cary Elwes (Powell's Books)

If you lovethe film of The Princess Bride you should sit down and read this is endearing memoir.  Not only does it tell the story of the making of The Princess Bride from the point of view of the leading man, but it includes delightful stories and asides from the cast and crew.  The book takes an already touching and well loved movie and makes it even more human.

I'm not going to lie, I teared up while reading this book.  The writing may not be the most polished, but it's telling the story of the love that was put into the movie and the affection that the cast and crew shared for the material and each other.  Many of those involved loved the book and the chance to take part in the film was a dream come true.  The Princess Bride combined outstanding established talent and little known names into a film that generations have come to love.

Advanced Reader Copy copy courtesy of N…

My reluctant reader

I read a lot.  At any given time I likely have a book on hand, and be somewhere in the middle of at least three others.  I read somewhere in the range of 100-200 books a year.

My fiance, on the other hand, is not much of a reader.  At all.  He'll read car manuals, forums, magazines, but until the past few months he has read a grand total of one book (The Zombie Survival Guide) during the first six years of our relationship.  Reading for pleasure just isn't his thing.

Only, early this year he went out and bought a copy of Ender's Game.  Made his way through it, enjoyed it, and would occasionally have fun discussion points from it with me.  When he got near the end I suggested Ready Player One, one of my favorites and a novel I've thought since it came out that he would enjoy.

I can't being to express how stupidly happy it makes me to see him reading a book because he enjoys it.  He seems slightly amused at my excitement.  Now I'm trying to figure out what to rec…

[Book Review] Swan Prince

Swan Prince / Erin Larke

Oliver is bound by duty, to his family and his flock.  Duty to lead and duty to produce a heir, neither is he eager to fulfill.  Trying to escape briefly from the weight of responsibility, Oliver slips away from his guards and flies on his own, right into the sights of a hunter.  The injury that would fell a swan is survivable to a man, and Oliver takes shelter in a nearby barn to rest and take shelter from the oncoming blizzard.

Bastion's horses are his life, living out on a distant farm with little companionship and a recently unreliable hired hand.  Finding a naked injured man in an empty stall during chores is not what he expected.  With no clothes, no ID, and no voice, Oliver is taken in by Bastion, who provides sanctuary while Oliver heals.

The attraction between them is undeniable, but Oliver knows he can't stay, and Bastion can't bear a no-strings attached affair.  Something has got to give, but what?  And can Oliver share his shifter life …

Link Smorgasbord, July 2014

Pink flamingos flock to Westfield lawns to support Athenaeum in FUN-raiser
A cute fundraiser that a library I spent a number of years at is running.

A Year in the Life of the Sheridan Libraries
Two photography undergrad students were brought in to document the life and environment of the Sheridan Libraries over the course of the academic year.  Gorgeous results.  I'd love to do a project like this in the future.

XKeyscore exposed: How NSA tracks all German Tor users as 'extremists'
*headdesk*

Four librarians gagged and threatened with prison time under the Patriot Act
I've said this before, and I'll say it again, librarians really do care about privacy.  There are always exceptions to beliefs and limits in how far people will go, but protection of privacy is one of the core values of the profession.

At Sea in a Deluge of Data
On research, data, and what librarians do.

Avast bought your phone on eBay & recovered what you thought you ‘wiped’
This isn't an issu…